When Elton John outed Billy Joel as an alcoholic in a recent interview with "Rolling Stone", he said he was doing it out of "tough love." But Billy dismissed it as "Elton being Elton."

But Elton says Billy is a lot angrier about it than he let on.

On the "Today" show yesterday, Elton said, quote, "He hates me at the moment. He sent me a message and he's not happy. I understand that. I'm sorry I had to say it, but I'm saying it because I really want Billy to live a long life and be very happy.

"That's all it came from. I understand why he's [mad] at me. I'm only trying to help. Maybe I should have done it privately, but I've been so frustrated over the years. And I love the guy."

Obviously, it doesn't sound like Elton plans on taking any of it back, and has accepted that this may mean Billy won't want to talk to him for a while.

He said, quote, "I can take that on the chin. Years ago when I was using, people tried to [confront] me, and I didn't talk to them for years. [I thought] 'How dare you talk to me like that.'

"[But] I do love him. He may want to punch my face in at the moment, but it's OK."

For video of his comments, see the video below and fast-forward to the 6:15 mark:

Later, Billy issued a response and while he denied that he hated Elton, the statement seemed pretty terse.  He said:

1.)  I do not hate Elton John.

2.)  I do not want to "punch him in the face."

3.)  If he wants to call me, my number is still the same.

4.)  Good luck with the movie.

--Billy Joel.

The movie he's referring to is "Gnomeo and Juliet", which features Elton's music.

I don't want to make something out of nothing here, but to me it sounds like he's insinuating that Elton may be using him to draw attention to himself while he's hyping this movie.  Maybe, maybe not.

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